by Steven Johnson, 2012
Read How We Got to Now last year, enjoyed it. This one, not so much.
The premise of the book is that peer progressive networks, such as Wikipedia and Kickstarter, are the way of the future. Authoritarian, top-down regimes can easily be surpassed by handing control to networked individuals. Yes, I agree that peer networks have their uses. But the book goes too far. I found myself shaking my head at some of the claims. I’ll mention one issue toward the end: Johnson claims that peer progressive ideals will lead to a more egalitarian society. However, many/most networks follow a power law distribution, where connections are exponentially more likely to go to those with lots of previous connections. That won’t be more equal.
We listened to this book on tape.